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March 2, 2013Tweet
WHITE PLAINS, NY - The Section 1 Class AA Semifinals commenced at the Westchester County Center. The opening game was between Mahopac and New Rochelle. The finale featured #1 ranked Mount Vernon and #5 ranked North Rockland.
Mahopac falls to New Rochelle, 47-42
New Rochelle starts the game with aggressive man to man defense while Mahopac countered with 2-1-2 zone. Mahopac led 12-7 but New Ro pushed back and only trailed 12-10 at the end of the first quarter.
Mahopac maintained 2 point lead throughout the most of the first half as John Vitkus nailed a jumper to extend the led to 5 points with 4 minutes. 6'4" Ryan Simone (20 points) scored inside and dominated the paint and with 2:27 6'3" Brendan Hynes (9 points) put Mahopac ahead, 21-14. With about a minute remaining, 5'10" Derek Dorn (14 points) shaved 2 points off Mahopac's advantage but were still down, 21-16.
Simone extended Mahopac lead to 9 points early in the third with low post moves. Hynes drew a foul with 5:53 and Mahopac was up. 27-16. Joe Clarke (18 points), who was ineffective in the first half, ended Mahopac's 6-0 run scoring inside. The quicker New Ro team pressed their bigger slower opponents but they were not as quick as Mahopac's superior ball movement and were still down by 7 points with 3:34
Sean Fenner (4 points) briefly sparked New Ro with a jumper but Simone had an answer and extended Mahopac's lead to 10 points with a strong and-1 move with 1:34 remaining in the third stanza. In the final minute, New Ro's press yielded results. Dorn scored along with a buzzer beater by Clarke capping off a 7-0 run that cut Mahopac's lead to 34-31 going into the fourth quarter.
Clarke continued the momentum as he scored in transition off a New Ro steal. Mahopac was holding onto a 1 point slither of lead with 7:27 left in the game. Mahopac countered but Clarke drew a foul attempting a three and missed tying the game shooting 1 of 3 from the line.
5:18 remained and Mahopac was ahead 38-36 and once again New Ro missed two free-throws that could have tied the game. With 4:06 Dorn finally did tie the game at 38 off a strong drive but also went out briefly with a cramp on the play.
Still tied with 2:52, both teams stepped up their defense and with 2:06 Donnie Powell (4 points) would take the lead going 1 of 2 from the line and then would score again off the offensive rebound. New Rochelle suddenly had a 41-38 lead and Mahopac would lose a player as Hynes fouled out on the subsequent play.
New Ro's free-throw shooting was suspect all evening but they still remained ahead by 4 points as their defense would bail them out. With 58.8 seconds on the clock, Dorn pilfered Mahopac, giving the New Ro possession but Clarke would travel, giving it back. Clarke would redeem himself with a steal of his own and Mahopac would foul him to prevent an easy lay-up.
Clarke would go 0-2 with 44 seconds and Mahopac needed to score quickly. But off a rushed shot, New Ro would grab the rebound and extend their lead to 5. Simone would score an and1 with 13.4 seconds to cut New Ro's lead to 43-41. On the inbound, Clarke would draw the foul in the double bonus and this time go 2 for 2 with 12.2 seconds left in regulation. New Ro would unintentionally stop the clock as Powell fouled Anthony Lenahan (7 points).
Down 45-41, the Mahopac point guard would go 1 of 2 with 7.6 seconds and they would call a time-out. Down by three, Mahopac would foul Clarke again and he would knock down both, sealing a five point victory to advance.
Mount Vernon evades North Rockland, 52-40
In the opening minutes, both teams played sloppy as they got a feel for each other. Scoring on putbacks, Mt Vernon led 3-2 with 5:34 left in the warm-up quarter but Jamal Lewis (5 points) scored to extend their lead.
Play got even sloppier but it was actually to North Rockland's advantage as they climbed back to within a point with 2:15 left in the quarter and soon tied the game at 5. Omar Idolors (9 points) would break the game open for North Rockland late, giving them an 11-7 lead to begin the second quarter.
North Rockland's man to man defense flustered Mt. Vernon who trailed 13-9 with 5:41 left in the half. The Knights deferred to missed perimeter shots and Charles Nardone (4 points) extended the lead to 6 points, scoring in transition.
The Knights were playing at a frenetic pace until head Coach Bob Cimmino subbed out senior PG Josh Doughty (5 points) briefly to settle him down. Back to back baskets closed the gap to 15-13 as Mt. Vernon began to settle down defensively. Traquann Scales (6 points) drained a 3 followed by a dunk in transition from Devonte Banner (13 points) and the Knights took the lead by 1 point with 2:01 and held on to it at the half.
Down 18-17, North Rockland quickly regained the lead by two as big man Elijah Tillman (4 points) scored inside along with Nardone scoring from the corner. Doughty, who's usually money from the arc couldn't find his stroke for most of the evening but Brandon Martin (15 points) cleaned up on the boards and tied the game at 21 with 5:41 left in the third then hit an and-1 putting the Knights up, 24-21.
Bodies hit the floor often in this low scoring high fouling affair. North Rockland would inch a bit closer and with 3:55, Alex Ramirez (5 points) would leak out and tie the game again at 24. The lead would change hand as both squad fought for the upper hand.
Good ball movement by North Rockland evaded Mt. Vernon's traps for the most part until a turnover gave Mt. Vernon the lead. The Knights were up 30-28 with 55.5 seconds, a strong finish by Banner closed out the quarter with Mt. Vernon ahead 34-28
Banner continued his hot hand, extending the Knights lead to 9 points before North Rockland could score. Idolors and Malivan Rosario (5 points) would pull North Rockland to within 4 with 4:38 left to play as the plot thickened. Doughty finally found his range as he David drained treys. With 3:10, the Knights had an 8 point cushion.
Ramirez countered with a trey but Scales matched to keep Mt. Vernon on top 47-40. Turnovers and missed free-throws would begin to take its toll on North Rockland. 58.5 seconds remained and Scales free-throws pushed the lead to 10 points as the Knights advanced to play New Rochelle in the championship.
New York NEWS